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Vernon teachers to escalate pressure this week

Teachers picketed outside Beairsto Elementary School on 27 Street in Vernon earlier this summer.
August 26, 2014 - 9:03 AM

VERNON - Vernon teachers plan to intensify pressure on local and provincial government in the coming days.

With school supposed to start next week and no deal reached with the province, the Vernon Teachers Association will picket outside the school board office Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week to push Premier Christy Clark, Education Minister Peter Fassbender, Vernon Monashee MLA Eric Foster, and local school district trustees towards a fair deal.

“We will concentrate our efforts at the school board office this week and should a deal not be reached, we will be on regular picket duty at our schools starting Sept. 2,” president Heather Malcolm said in a press release.

The association is calling on teachers, parents, and supportive community members to attend a special public school board meeting on Wednesday, August 27 at 6 p.m. at the school district office on 15 Street.

Teachers have been on a full-scale strike since June. Throughout the summer, formal negotiations did not continue, although the B.C. Teachers Federation and B.C. Public School Employers Association have been speaking about how to move forward, Malcolm said.

Mediator Vince Ready has agreed to monitor the situation and become involved when he sees the sides are prepared for mediation. His involvement is welcome, Malcolm said, because teachers have been calling for mediation for a long time.

“We want to be in our classrooms, we want kids to start school on time, we want mediation to settle this. We are frustrated and disappointed that Minister Fassbender and the Liberal government do not share this will,” she said.

The B.C. Teachers collective decision is to stay the course and to continue full-scale strike action.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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